Introducing The Quiet Space: A set of offerings for scholars and knowledge creators

    Good morning, friends.

    I have a new-ish morning ritual. I creep downstairs so as not to wake my kid. I get out a glass. I go to the fridge. I get out a can of sparkling water. I get my thyroid meds. I count out my morning thyroid meds and supplements: one levothyroxine, three liothyronine, two l-tyrosine. I open the sparkling water and pour it into the glass. I open my bottle of liquid kelp (which I obviously need because I am a manatee) and squeeze four drops of it into the glass of water: one. two. three. four. And I sip the water and take my pills. Sometimes I play a game on my phone, sometimes I read. But today, I thought.

    I sat in that sleepy barely-awake feeling, in my quiet kitchen, with the sky grey outside and the house cold because I keep it that way for sleep, and stared into space.

    And three words came to me.


    I’ve had an idea for a week or so and was trying to find a name for it. It’s a project/offering I want to put into the world, building on the Notion templates I’ve created. It’s something that takes my skills for organizing and my understanding of doctoral student life and academia and blends them to create a gift for the world.

    And that gift is quiet space.

    I wanted to do this as a video rather than a blog post but my kid is still sleeping.

    The Quiet Space is a set of offerings that will create structure and space for scholars of all descriptions to focus on creating knowledge instead of managing it. The first offerings will continue to be Notion templates; I have a few more to put together. (I may also experiment with Google Sheets or ClickUp but for now I’m focused on Notion.)

    Here’s the idea:

    You, a knowledge creator, have a lot going on in your head. And administrative work, such as organizing your readings, tracking your revisions, managing copyright permissions - this stuff eats up space in your brain. It fills your brain with chatter about the best way to do these things. How should you create the structures to deal with them?

    But what if the space that stuff ate up was open? And quiet? What if it was space you could use to move your ideas around and play with them? What if you took the time you’ve been spending banging your head against a metaphorical wall to figure this out and instead spent it outside looking at the clouds?

    My offerings will be designed to open up that space for you, Scholar. I’ll see you in The Quiet Space soon.



    [Image caption: White clouds move across a blue sky over a silhouetted group of trees and some orange grass. In the bottom right corner, a stone path curves away into the distance.]

    Personal reflections after (but not really on) #FanLIS

    My head is swimming after attending the #FanLIS symposium today. At this moment when I’m taking a few weeks off before launching consulting, occasionally doing job interviews, and mostly resting, I’m in the middle of an existential crisis about what I want to do and who I want to be.

    I’m in a position where, if I can bring in a fair amount of freelance work, I could use some of my time as an independent scholar and I think that’s what I want to do. I’m not interested in academia-as-institutionalized-in-higher-ed but I love scholarship. I don’t want to not be a scholar.

    I’ve been reviewing my notes from Katie Rose Guest Pryal’s Book The Freelance Academic and this quote is standing out to me today:

    Our tracks are, by necessity, only limited by our own creativity. They literally are what we make them. (p. 49 in the Kindle edition)

    So this is my track today. Freelance academic/independent scholar-librarian.

    Tomorrow: Digging into Raul Pacheco-Vega’s blog for help setting up my workflows moving forward.

    Prepping to launch my consulting career πŸ‘©β€β€πŸ’Ό

    Hello again, internet. I just finished writing the last thing I had to write for my assistantship. I’m taking a break and not hustling hustling for the next month or so. But I am planning to launch as an independent researcher and consultant in mid-June, and in case anyone else is interested in what that life is like, I thought I’d share some of my prospective work.

    I really appreciate transparency such as when Dr. Katie Linder and Dr. Sara Langworthy talk about their income streams on the Make Your Way podcast, Dr. Katie Rose Guest Pryal talks about hers in her book The Freelance Academic, and Dr. Kelly J. Baker talks about hers on her blog. Because I haven’t launched yet, I can’t tell you how much money I’m making. But I can tell you what kind of clients I’m courting.

    Here are some possibilities I have in the works:

    • doing some curatorial work for my blogging host platform
    • working with a small start-up to promote qualitative research and qualitative data analysis software
    • editing theses and dissertations either through my own networking or as part of another organization’s network (both, if I can swing it)
    • writing curriculum materials for Open Educational Resources
    • working as an independent researcher again through both my own networking and as an affiliate of a consulting company

    In addition to whatever paid work I get, I have a dream of also continuing to do my own research and maybe doing some creative writing (either creative non-fiction or YA fantasy), but we’ll see how much time and energy I have.